WCA: Why did you got the interest on Psychology?
MB: First, because since I was little, I had a lot of questions about what is it that makes people think, feel or behave in the way they do. I think every human being reflects on this topics sooner or later… But I think my difference with everybody else was that I’ve never found fulfilling the reasons given and accepted by the majority of people. And, without realizing it, I was already on my own research project on the topic of the mind. So I think choosing Psychology over the other careers would come up naturally, sooner or later.
WCA: When did this passion for Psychology started?
MB: When younger, I’ve never passed through “psychotherapeutic” process — now I regret never asked my parents for it, I think it could have been an interesting experience — . I’ve always found myself in the place of listening to other people’s anxieties. And it really got me hooked up, because although I was definitely interested in listening what that individual had to say about his or her dramas, generally I ended up disagreeing on the way he or she thought about the cause of the problem and which were the means to solve it. Mostly in the cases where there was actually the word of somebody else ruling over the thought of these things, say their parents, their couple, the school, the church, etc.
And I disagreed because these anxieties never came to an actual end, and these people would kept repeating what made them suffer, over and over… Later I understood that had to do with unconscious… Of course, at that time I did not have actual clinical tools, but sometimes, when I decided to tell that person how I differed from what him or her was saying, it had an effect, meaning that I could help them to view their struggling in ways that made them feel better.
WCA: So what is Psychology?
MB: I think it is necessary to clear up one thing. Psychology per se is nothing else than an academic term, born in the West near the second half of 19th century to organize investigation, teaching, and professional exercise. I say this because, up to this day, a lot had been said over the psyche or the mind. In that complexity that is Psychology as a field of study, the theory that most continues to seduce me to this day is Psychoanalysis. So the psychologic point of view you want me to address on this interview should be centered on psychoanalytic premises.
What I like about psychoanalysis is, firstly, as a theory about personality, the place given by Freud to desire as the central axis of our biography, as the most powerful source for either our own motivations and deceptions, the origin of the possibility to grow and inspire others or sink deep into social paranoia. Secondly, as a method of therapy, I’m interested into exploring the possibilities given by the analyst to the analyse and to overcome life anxieties by reconstructing his/her own history by her/himself — which for psychoanalysis can be reduced to the position a person occupies forward the desire that inhabits him/her — .
WCA: Why do you think is so important to go to a Psychologist today?
MB: I think psychoanalysis is definitely a thing to add up to your list of life hacks. Because it is way more than getting to overcome your crazy bananas mind: it is about discovering what your desire is after — or perhaps better said: whats causes your desire — , and to learn everyday how to take or keep whatever is on your side in order to embrace it. It should be of much help moments of disorientation like today’s. In moments of rupture of bonds of work and love as we knew them till this very moment, psychoanalysis may allow us to take our time to reflect on what is it that from the social crisis specifically strikes us so hard, what makes us feel so bad to the point, in some cases, of complete stiffness or even the emergence of mental and physical disorders. In concrete: we are all suffering in this worldwide crisis, but we do not suffer the same: different moments, places, communities, bodies, interests, relationships, psychoanalysis goes after their singular way of entanglement in each individual.
Hustling culture, flexing culture, traveling culture — among other e-trends that show up all over the place in current social media — they could be fun to look at, but while they appeal to you, at the same time they are telling you what you are supposed to do in order to live happier, stay more focused, be more productive, socially active, healthier, etc. They are telling you what your problems should be and the means to overcome them. I don’t want to sound totalitarian; but I dare to say it should be important to anybody into this stuff to, at any point they want, take their time to ask themselves: does being productive or sexy appeal to you? If that’s the case, then what is it about them that appeals you? How? And in order to do what, when, where, with whom?
Images or textes about pleasuring stuff much of the time obturates our own possibility to question about what kind of life do we want to live. In sum, they make up an agenda to of our lives without our consent.
That said, I don’t think psychoanalysis will make your perception of things more profound. On the contrary, I think it gives you a much more terrenal, ethic point of view. It allows you to gain a complex view on your life coordinates as an individual and their projections into the past and future. It allows you to live a more creative course of life; because, from where does creativity come if not from the freedom to choose what kind of life you want to live?
WCA: How can you connect Psychology with Art?
MB: I should say art is the ability to frame up things from a perspective that is different from that which you or the people surrounding you already had before. And when you open up new paths for you to walk trough, you open them up for others. So, for me, being creative is always connected to ways of reaching up others for help and inspiration. That said, art it’s not about composing music, dancing, drawing, even developing video games or taking photos. Even making experiments with atoms, or translating a text, or giving a class, could be art, because it is about being creative whenever and wherever you are, whatever the stuff you have you hands over.
In that sense, I think it is important to distinguish Art from art. The last should refer to the ever extending group of activities that we ordinary call “art”; they share one thing in common: they don’t deliver objects or services that are considered socially productive in a direct way, like a health service, a legal service, an industrial service, etc. And then, on the other hand, there is Art: the never ending ability to stay creative within your and your own environment’s specific necessities; to pay attention to that thing which screams to be cared for and no one dares to say a thing about. I should say: Artist is not an state, less a degree yielded by an academic authority; one can’t be an artist, but rather stay and operate like one — even without realizing — during certain life events. Artist is a position occupied by whoever thinks of any aspect of life and bonds in an ethic way. And thus a very socially important position, considering that nowadays the internet has given us more tools than ever to give instant visibility to a vast range of life matters and to share our viewpoints over them with a vast range of people.
If you are interested into reading about psychological foundations of the artistic experience, you should definitely check out Julia Kristeva’s Revolution in Poetic Language. In a very beautiful writing, she explores art from a Freudian perspective as a semiotic tool for conveying messages that written texts or oral speaking normally don’t allow. Also, you could read Jacques Lacan’s essay on the possible intersections of psychoanalytic theory and literacy studies in Lituraterre. I must put a disclaimer here, and say that Lacan’s way of writing down his ideas could be confusing to some extent, but if you take your time and go little by little through the lines, you might find very lucid and challenging notions that may be very important for today’s understanding of the artist’s place in society.